A blog maintained by Tevita Kete, PGR Officer
Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji Islands
This weblog documents the activities of Pacific Agricultural Genetic Resources Network (PAPGREN), along with other information on plant genetic resources (PGR) in the Pacific.
The myriad varieties found within cultivated plants are fundamental to the present and future productivity of agriculture. PAPGREN, which is coordinated by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), helps Pacific countries and territories to conserve their crop genetic diversity sustainably, with technical assistance from the Bioversity International (BI) and support from NZAID and ACIAR.
SPC also hosts the Centre of Pacific Crops and Trees (CEPaCT). The CEPaCT maintains regional in vitro collections of crops important to the Pacific and carries out research on tissue culture technology. The CEPaCT Adviser is Dr Mary Taylor (MaryT@spc.int), the CEPaCT Curator is Ms Valerie Tuia (ValerieT@spc.int).
PAPGREN coordination and support
Mr William Wigmore
Mr Adelino S. Lorens
Dr Lois Englberger
Mr Apisai Ucuboi
Dr Maurice Wong
Mr Tianeti Beenna Ioane
Mr Frederick Muller
Mr Herman Francisco
Ms Rosa Kambuou
Ms Laisene Samuelu
Mr Jimi Saelea
Mr Tony Jansen
Mr Finao Pole
Mr Frazer Bule Lehi
Interested in GIS?
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Posted 4:25 PM by Luigi
Diversity on Futuna
Frank & I thought you might be interested in the following quote from "The Melanesians: People of the South Pacific" by Albert B. Lewis (1951, pp. 72-73), Assistant Curator, Melanesian Ethnology, Chicago Natural History Museum 1907-1940:
"Gunn (1914) reports that in the small island of Futuna ... there are 87 varieties of yams, 90 of taro, 70 of bananas and plantains, 75 of breadfruit, 12 of sweet potatoes, and 38 other roots used as food. The Sulka of New Britain are reported to distinguish by name 450 varieties of taro, besides hundreds of varieties of other kinds of cultivated plants.
Many of these varieties differ greatly in size, appearance, and flavor. Some of the bananas are small, not more than an inch or two in length, but with a delicious flavor, while some of the huge coarse plantains may be nearly as large as one's arm. These are always cooked. Some of the varieties of yams may grow up to six or eight feet in length, with a weight of 100 lbs or more."
Of course, we don't know now how many of these varieties were duplicate names, but the numbers are still pretty impressive. Thanks to everyone out there in different islands for doing your best to save what's left! And by doing that, mutations will eventually give rise to future varieties.
Angela & Frank
Dr. Angela Kay Kepler
Pacific-wide Ecological Consulting
PO Box 1298, Haiku
Island of Maui
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Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.